On Thursday, October 19, high school students in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties participated in the 11th Annual Manufacturing Day touring manufacturing facilities across the region. They learned about the variety of products made right here in the North Country, and discovered the array of career possibilities available in industry.
A continuous improvement manager who is always working on process improvement is an important part of many manufacturing teams. When there is someone on staff whose job it is to define trouble-spots, find waste, track data, develop and implement improvements, and monitor for consistency, your Lean culture continues to build on itself. For a lot of businesses, this is the perfect approach to ongoing optimization. There can be drawbacks to that approach as well, however.
Many manufacturers are working with a LOT of new employees on the line right now. While it's great to have new blood, new ideas, new energy, the basic truth is, you still have to produce your products safely and on time. TWI Job Instruction is the tried and true method for quickly training your new employees on production tasks.
On Friday, October 14, high school students in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties participated in the 10th Annual Manufacturing Day by touring manufacturing facilities across the region, learning about the array of products that are made right here in the North Country, and discovering the variety of career possibilities available in industry.
Every single manufacturer we talk to tells us about new employees who start at 7am and are gone before lunch. Workforce is the number one challenge facing almost every business in the country right now. There are very few quick-fix solutions to this shortage, but the MEP just published a white paper with a range of approaches that may offer some relief to your organization.
2020 has been a year like no other, without a doubt. The election, the pandemic, and everything else has thrown manufacturers a lot of curveballs; supply chain disruption, workforce issues, tariffs, new rules and regulations, safety concerns, the list goes on and on. It also seems like with every new problem there is a series of new solutions, new technologies, new products, new software, that are supposed to offer the answer to our most difficult challenges.
Manufacturing leaders are invited to tune in for a virtual local business networking event. A panel of St. Lawrence County manufacturing business leaders will present new products, tools and techniques that they have undertaken to pivot during the pandemic to maintain business and plan for the future. Examples of marketing, capital investment, staffing and customer culture will be addressed in their real life examples.
Last year SHRM reported that 1 in 4 Americans dread going to work, and in a new SHRM survey 84 percent of employees say that poorly trained managers are creating extra stress and unnecessary problems. Managing people, communicating appropriately, mentoring and coaching effectively, building cooperative culture -- these are all things that workers cite as deficiencies in their managers.
We are in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It's an exciting development -- a transformation unlike any that has come before. "Industry 4.0" is the name that some organizations use to refer to the adoption of technology related to this Fourth Industrial Revolution, but does that name help companies understand the role that these technologies can play in their systems?
The word “agility” is most often associated with movement, such as in sport or dance, referring to moving quickly and easily. A second definition relates to the ability to think and draw conclusions quickly. Both definitions come together in business when complex systems and the dynamics of real-time interactions play out.
A process is defined as a series of actions or steps to achieve a desired outcome. Any business or organization relies on many processes to produce their products or services. Manufacturing, in particular, has been honing these sets and subsets of instructions to produce the highest quality products in the most efficient manner at the lowest cost for decades. The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent disruption to most of the norms that manufacturers have relied on to achieve economic growth and financial gains, has been enormous and painful.
As manufacturing consultants, we hear a lot about Industry 4.0, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), digitization, the "factory of the future." Internet-enabled technology is being harnessed throughout manufacturing to increase productivity through a variety of mechanisms including data analysis, and interlinking systems. But are small manufacturers being left out?
Businesses and employees are facing an unprecedented time of uncertainty, instability, and stress. Business leaders have a lot to think about and plan for, in addition to possibly having to shift gears completely to stay afloat. And there isn’t the luxury of time for reviewing data or strategic planning; leaders must be decisive in the moment about all aspects of their business.